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A new model of communication

Wireless telegraphy (then telephony) was initially conceived to connect two distant points, possibly without interference of a third party. But wireless communication essentially became the radio, allowing millions of users all over the world to simultaneously receive the same message even if in separate places: this, in synthesis, is what we call broadcasting.

Broadcasting involves various prominent innovations in the evolution of modern media:

  • the possibility of reaching a large audience without having to print copies of the same message;
  • the possibility of reaching listeners directly in their homes;
  • the choice of “programs” available to the public during different hours of the day.

a. The radio is not, in absolute, the first form of broadcasting, because already prior to Marconi's invention significant experiments of circular telephony had already been carried out. It was, however, the means that marked the success of this way of communicating, reaching millions of people, and paving the way to an ulterior form of broadcasting: the television.

b. Broadcasting allows messages to arrive directly inside homes, without the mediation of a distribution apparatus that is generally necessary for more traditional media, like the press or the cinema. In this way, the radio, and successively the television, fostered, with respect to the traditional one, a more variegated audience, which included women, adolescents, and even preschoolers: it became a powerful tool of socialization and relatively difficult to control, an issue which often produced recurring alarm in society, which for many decades legitimated the public monopoly (in Europe) on the two mediums.

c. Broadcasting does not propose a script, and not even a simple succession or a mosaic of texts, as a book does, as well as a film or newspaper; it offers a program, that is systematically accompanied with messages that calibrate the rhythm of its existence. A broadcast, unlike a book or a film, does not have a beginning nor an ending, it is there and continues irrespective of the fact that we choose to “tune in” or not.














Emile Girardeaugirardeau

Marconi believed in short waves before anyone else, before the experts, before the amateurs; and he never stopped dedicating himself to them even while others continued to pay no attention.



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